Leitrim Pet Directory Company Receives First Loan Approval

Launched earlier this month, the new ‘LEO Microfinance’ loan support is available to start-ups and small business owners through the 31 Local Enterprise Offices, at a reduced rate of interest.

Mypetdirectory.ie, founded by Collette McGowan in 2011, is an on-line directory that connects pet owners with pet businesses in their locality.

Based in Carrick-on-Shannon, the business plans to use the loan to re-design the website and to roll out more services.

McGowan, a sole trader, applied for the new loan support through her Local Enterprise Office in Leitrim, where she will also avail of further mentoring support and business advice, to help her expand her business further.

The Head of the Local Enterprise Office in Leitrim, Joe Lowe, said: “The Local Enterprise Offices are a ‘First Stop Shop’ for providing wide-ranging supports to the small business community, such as mentoring, grant-aid and management training. Through this new partnership with Microfinance Ireland, we can now also offer start-ups and growing businesses access to loans for their enterprises, at a reduced rate of interest.”

Microfinance Ireland, set up by the Irish Government in October 2012 to deliver the microenterprise fund, has approved €5 million in loans to over 300 companies, supporting more than 750 jobs.

The newly-appointed CEO of Microfinance Ireland, Michael Johnson, said: “Under the new loan partnership with the Local Enterprise Offices, small business owners can benefit from ‘joined-up thinking’ and integrated supports, in addition to having their loans assessed locally.”

He added: “Before the loan process even starts, the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) can work with the business owner, to help determine their financial requirements and whether or not a loan will meet their needs. The LEO can also assist after the loan has been approved, providing mentoring support that will give the business owner confidence to grow their business and create more jobs.”

Loans under the new partnership agreement can vary from €2,000 to €25,000 and can be used towards expenses like working capital, equipment or website development, provided the business employs less than ten people and has a turnover of less than €2million.

To date, around three quarters of the loan applications are coming from businesses based outside Dublin and approximately 58% of loan approvals are to new start-up ventures. Further details about the new loan support are available through www.localenterprise.ie and direct applications are also welcome through www.microfinanceireland.ie

Leitrim Pet Directory

Pictured at the announcement are Joe Lowe, Head of Local Enterprise Office Leitrim, Collette McGowan, Founder, MyPetDirectory.ie  and Tony Byron, Microfinance Ireland (Photo Credit: Ivan Keaney Photography).